After their thrilling, snow-filled victory in overtime over the Indianapolis Colts, the Buffalo Bills look to the AFC playoff standings and received a little bit of help in Week 14. With a game against the Miami Dolphins looming in Week 15, Buffalo still has a halfway decent chance of making the playoffs for the first time since the Xbox was invented.
The biggest help came from the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Arizona Cardinals, who knocked off the Baltimore Ravens and Tennessee Titans, respectively. While both Tennessee and Baltimore remain in playoff spots, they are much more vulnerable to being overtaken.
Conversely, the Los Angeles Chargers just keep winning. We need to root for them to win win the AFC West now and let the Chiefs fall back into the Wild Card race.
Here is the full AFC playoff picture, noting that the New England Patriots and Miami Dolphins play on Monday Night Football:
AFC Playoff Standings
1. Pittsburgh Steelers (11-2)
2. New England Patriots (10-2)+
3. Jacksonville Jaguars (9-4)
4. Kansas City Chiefs (7-6, head-to-head win over LAC)
5. Tennessee Titans (8-5, head-to-head win over JAX)
6. Baltimore Ravens (7-6, 5-4 AFC record, 3-0 vs. common BUF opponents)
7. Los Angeles Chargers (7-6, head-to-head loss to KC, 4-5 AFC, head-to-head win over BUF)
8. Buffalo Bills (7-6, 5-4 AFC, 2-1 vs. common BAL opponents, head-to-head loss to LAC)
9. Oakland Raiders (6-7)
10. Miami Dolphins (5-7)+
11. New York Jets (5-8, 5-5 AFC)
12. Cincinnati Bengals (5-8, 5-6 AFC)
13. Houston Texans (4-9, 3-6 AFC)
14. Denver Broncos (4-9, 2-7 AFC)*
15. Indianapolis Colts (3-10, 2-6 AFC)*
16. Cleveland Browns (0-13)*
* Cleveland, Indianapolis, and Denver have been eliminated from the 2017 postseason race. Houston is technically alive with only six conference losses compared to Denver’s seven.
More on the record vs. common opponent tiebreaker between Buffalo and Baltimore: The Bills have wins over the Raiders and Colts (2-1) while the Ravens beat the Bengals, Dolphins, and Raiders (3-0). Buffalo has two games against the Dolphins to bring up that record while the Ravens face Indianapolis and Cincinnati over the final two weeks of the season. While some tiebreaker sites won’t count this tiebreaker yet because the two teams haven’t played four common opponents, they are on the schedule eventually so I’m counting them here.
If you want to disregard the record vs common opponents, Buffalo is in sixth place thanks to a better strength of victory over the Ravens. Baltimore would be seventh and the Chargers eighth.